Illinois, in 1859, and is a son of Rieley Lister, a farmer of American stock. Our subject was the eldest in his father's family, and was raised in his native state, his younger days being occupied in assisting his parents in the farm work until he was twenty-three years of age. He then came west to Nebraska and located in Kearney county where he remained only a short time, then went on to Wyoming. In the fall of 1883 he returned to this state and settled at Ainsworth, and there established himself in the harness business carrying on this store for three years, then sold out his property in December of that year and moved to Hay Springs in March of 1887. At the latter place be opened a harness shop and store with a good stock of goods, and operated this up to 1895.
After disposing of his harness store he went into the sheep business, having a ranch nine miles southeast of Hay Springs, and for four years continued in this line of work. He next moved back to Hay Springs and went into business there, establishing a hardware and implement store which he ran for seventeen months, then sold out.
Mr. Lister was married, in 1888, to Miss Emma M. Zanhiser, whose parents came here from Pennsylvania, she being of German descent. They have one child, Arthur, aged seventeen years.
W. S. Saunders, who is known throughout Deuel county as a prosperous agriculturist and ranchman, resides on his fine estate in section 17, township 18, range 44. He is a gentleman of excellent business judgement, and has become the possessor of valuable property by dint of his industry, economy and honesty.
Mr. Saunders was born in Kentucky in 1842. He was reared there, receiving a limited schooling, and lived at home until 1855, when he went into Iowa, settling in Henry county. He remained there up to 1863, then enlisted in Company D, Fourth Iowa Cavalry, serving up to 1865. He was in the Vicksburg campaign, also with Price in his campaign, and saw hard service with his regiment. He was mustered out at Davenport, Iowa, in 1865. After leaving the army he followed farming in Iowa up to 1889, then came to Nebraska, homesteading on section 27, township 18, range 44, in Deuel county, which is now his home ranch. Here he went through pioneer experiences, living in sod houses during the first years, and with his family suffering hardships and privation while getting started, but worked hard to improve his farm, and succeeded in establishing a good home. He now has one thousand two hundred acres, and about one hundred and twenty of this is under cultivation, with the balance used for hay and pasture for a large herd of cattle and horses. He has a good house, large barns, well, and all necessary improvements for the proper operation of the ranch also nice groves, etc. He personally attends to the management of the place, has met with pronounced success in his chosen work, and is classed among the solid and substantial citizens of his community.
Mr. Saunders was married to Miss Mary R. Jenkins, in Iowa, in 1866. They have seven children, who are named as follows: Elmer, Orva, William, Clarence and Chester, all married and living in Deuel County; May, wife of N. G. Brewer, they living in Cheyenne county, and Pearl, single and living at the home ranch.
Our subject is a man of active public spirit, and has gained prominence as a citizen of true worth.
Among the old settlers in Keya Paha county, Nebraska, none occupies a more prominent place than the above mentioned gentleman, Nelson F. Bruce. He is one of the pioneers who teamed into the county from Wisner Nebraska, and since his coming to this section has done his full share in the upbuilding of the community.
Mr. Bruce was born in Wisconsin in 1857, on his father's farm. He is a son of Jeduthen Bruce, of Scotch blood, and a pioneer settler in Keya Paha county, coming here in 1884. He remained here until his death. which occurred in 1901. The mother of our subject was of English descent, and of her family of three children he was the youngest member. He was reared in the state of his birth, assisting his father in the farm work, and attending the public schools, remaining in that locality until 1881, when he came to Nebraska, locating in Madison county where he lived for one year. In 1882 he removed to Keya Paha county, where he took up some government land and opened a farm, putting up a log house in which he made his home for ten or fifteen years. When he struck this county all he had was fifteen cents in money and a well developed case of "mumps." His first team was a yoke of oxen, with which he broke up his first piece of ground. He went through many hardships losing several crops through the drouths, and experienced all the trials and privations which the early settlers in this locality were sub-
jected to, but he persevered in his efforts, and gradually overcame all difficulties until he is now proprietor of a three hundred and twenty acre farm, of which one hundred and twenty-five acres are in a high state of cultivation. The Pine Camp postoffice was established in 1894 and ten years later he was appointed postmaster and has held this position ever since, proving a most popular and efficient public official, obliging and esteemed by all patrons. He has built up a fine home and gained a valuable property, due to his untiring energy and industrious habits, and well deserves the success which he has attained.
Mr. Bruce was married in 1892 to Miss Florence Cool, daughter of Fred Cool, an old settler in Keya Paha county. Mr. and Mrs. Bruce have three children, namely: May, Esther and Rex.
For the past ten years our subject has held the position of county surveyor, and was justice of the peace for many years, and he is widely known all over the county as a public-spirited citizen.
Christian Jensen, the subject of this review, is a man of untiring energy, honest principle and good business management, and is the owner of a valuable estate in Cherry county.
Mr. Jensen was born in Denmark, January 17, 1857, and lived there until nearly twenty-one years of age, working on farms during his boyhood years. He is the only member of a family of ten children who ever left Denmark. Sailing from Copenhagen on a White Star liner September 15, he landed in New York October 1, 1876. Going to Essex county, New York, he secured employment in the iron mines, where he remained for two years and then came to Omaha, Nebraska, farming near there for six years on rented land. At the end of this time moved to Holt county, where he farmed for three years on a homestead claim which he commuted and then sold out. His next move was to Sioux county, where he remained for a time, and then took a homestead in Holt county. which he also commuted and then took a pre-emption in Sioux county but was unable to prove up, so turned it into a homestead and lived out his time on it. Here he had just got nicely started when the dry years came and he was able to raise only two crops. having to buy seed every spring, not getting even next year's seed off of it. However. he remained here and farmed it for eleven years. During this time his wife worked for the railroad to assist him in making a living. She, together with a neighbor, cooked for three months for one hundred and twenty-five men who were employed in building the railroad through the locality. These were the hardest times our subject ever experienced, and they were certainly enough. In 1897 he moved to Cherry county locating near where he now lives, remaining on that farm for six years, and at the end of this time took his present homestead of four hundred and eighty acres under the Kincaid act. This is situated in section 8, township 31, range 37. Here he has done very well since starting in the cattle business, engaged also in a small way in mixed farming. He has accumulated a nice property, having had practically nothing to start with, as one dollar and seventy-five cents was all the money he had in the world when landed in New York from the old country. He has had all the pioneer life he wants, and is satisfied to take things easy from now on.
In October, 1876, Mr. Jensen was married to Miss Annie Andersen, born in Denmark, in 1850 whence her parents never emigrated. Five children resulted from this union, three dying unnamed; the living are: Andrew Julius, who married Della Nichols, and Carl A., who married Burdickte M. Peterson. Both sons are in homes of their own, living near their parents and are engaged in the stock business.
Mr. Jensen has planted a fine grove of trees, the shrubs alone costing him $138.00, and out of this expenditure he has been able to raise only ten or a dozen trees. He is a Republican, but always votes for the best man in local politics. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Lutheran church.
John Graham, for many years a resident of section 17, township 24, range 27, Thomas county, is a prosperous ranchman and commands the respect of a large circle of acquaintances. He is a gentleman of untiring energy and possessed of sterling characteristics, and one who has prospered remarkably well in his chosen calling. Mr. Graham was born in St. Lawrence county, New York, in 1843. His father, Andrew Graham, was a native of Scotland, and he married Jane Coleman, born and reared in Ireland, and together they came to the new world to carve out a fortune a themselves. Their family of four children were reared in New York state. When John was an infant his parents went to Wisconsin and after a short time there both died, and he went back
to his native state and was reared by an uncle. In 1864 he enlisted in Company D, thirty-ninth New York Infantry, and saw service through the south; was at Richmond and Petersburg, and at the battle of Five Forks was wounded, which put an end to his career as a soldier. After leaving the army he returned home, and in the spring of 1866 went to Fayette county, Iowa, spent ten years there, following farming, and next lived for ten years in Allamakee county on a farm.
Mr. Graham came to Nebraska in 1886, settling in Nuckolls county, and for two years pioneered there, then came to Thomas county and took a pre-emption which he improved in good shape, leaving that place in 1889 and coming to his present location which he took as a homestead, situated on section 17, township 24, range 27. He worked hard on this farm, went through hard times, but succeeded in building up a good home and now owns six hundred and forty acres, of which he cultivates about forty acres, using the balance as a stock ranch. He has erected good buildings, has many acres of good pasture and hayland, good fences, etc., and when he took the place it was simply raw prairie land, with but small improvements.
In 1867 Mr. Graham married Mary A. Pratt, daughter of Oren and Susan Chesley Pratt, pioneers in Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Graham had four children: Lester L., Susan, Louisa and Cora, and, in 1907, the wife and mother departed this life, deeply mourned by her devoted family and a host of warm friends.
Mr. Graham has always taken a leading part in
neighborhood affairs, and in the management of his schools, etc.,
serving as the first superintendent in his district. He is active
also in church work and for fifteen years has acted as
Sunday-school superintendent, believing in the highest education,
and anxious that the local schools should be up to the highest
standard. A picture of John Graham and family will be found
elsewhere in this volume.
James K. Reid, an enterprising and prosperous citizen of Hay Springs, Nebraska, is a young man of sterling character who commands the respect and esteem of a large circle of acquaintances.
Mr. Reid was born in 1874, in the town of Sullivan, state of Indiana. His father, Ransom W. Reid, came to Sheridan county in March 1884, where he took up a homestead near Gordon. He built a dugout, taking out three feet of earth and raising it four feet above ground, and the family lived in this for several years. He, together with J. H. Crowder, who was a resident of Gordon, organized a colony that came from the vicinity of Sullivan, Indiana, in 1885, and the former was prominent in the settlement of that part of Sheridan county, remaining on his homestead until he proved up, building up a good farm, then moved forty miles south of the village of Gordon and started a cattle ranch. He was successful in this enterprise, and lived on the ranch up to 1892, raised his family, and then sold out his holdings and moved to Gordon, where he entered the mercantile business, establishing a general store in partnership with the Rev. John E. Scamahorn. In 1903 he came to Hay Springs to reside, having retired from all active business. During all of this time our subject lived at home with his parents, assisting his father in whatever business he was engaged in, and received a good practical education and becoming familiar with the commercial and financial conditions of this section of the country. In 1900 he associated himself with the Maverick Loan & Trust Company, of Gordon, Nebraska, and opened a real estate office for this concern in Hay Springs. He is a graduate of the Gordon high school, and afterwards spent three years at the State University at Lincoln.
Mr. Reid was married in 1904 to Miss Madge McQueen, whose father, William B. McQueen, is an old settler in Nebraska. His sketch appears alsewhere (sic) in this volume.
Mr. Reid is active in all local affairs, and his father also has always taken an active part in county politics. He is at present serving as county commissioner of Sheridan county, and is chairman of the village board.
John H. Newlin, of Harrison, Nebraska, has been a resident of Sioux county for the past eighteen years, and during that time has become familiar with the entire country around, gaining an enviable reputation as a public-spirited citizen and worthy member of society in his community. Mr. Newlin was born in Ripley, Brown county, Ohio, in 1853, of American stock. His father, Nathaniel Newlin, was a cooper and farmer, and was born and reared in his native state. He moved to Illinois, where our subject was educated in the common schools, and the family lived there until John was a lad of fifteen years, then moved to Guthrie county, Iowa, in 1868. They farmed there for about nine years, then our subject went to Abilene, Kansas, in 1877, and spent four years, returning to Iowa in 1881,
where he spent several years engaged in teaching school and farming. In 1890, Mr. Newlin first came to Sioux county, and filed on a homestead in section 15, township 33, range 55, improved it and proved up. His location was seventeen miles northeast of Harrison, and he started with practically nothing, both himself and wife teaching school in order to save money for improving their home. They went through hard times, but managed to get ahead a little, and in 1896 moved off the farm and went to Guthrie Center, Iowa, where they remained for about a year, and in July, 1897, went to Wyoming, where they lived for six years on a rented ranch. In 1903 Mr. Newlin moved to Harrison, and in February of the following year purchased the Harrison Sun, a weekly paper established May 11, 1900, by Colonel W. H. Ketcham. Since 1903, Mr. Newlin has edited the paper and been sole proprietor of the concern, and in 1905 consolidated that paper with the Harrison Press-Journal, the latter being the oldest paper in Sioux county at that time, established in 1888 by W. E. Patterson. The first name of this paper was the Sioux County Journal. Our subject is now owner of the only paper published in Sioux county, and this publication enjoys a wide circulation in the surrounding country
In 1890 Mr. Newlin was married to Miss Ella
Conner, daughter of William W. and Nancy (Carson) Conner, who were
old settlers of Cass county, Nebraska, and well-known throughout
that region, settling there in the year 1856. The mother died
December, 1878; father died July 1879. To Mr. and Mrs. Newlin have
been born the following children: Jessie E., Bessie M., and Nellie
B., the latter deceased. Our subject and his wife rank among the
foremost old-timers of the county, who have assisted materially in
the development of the commercial and agricultural resources of
this region. Mr. Newlin has always done his share in local
affairs, and is one of the leading men of his times. A picture of
Mr. Newlin's newspaper office appears on another page of this
F. Kemp Heath, who is one of the rising young business men of Cody, Nebraska, has already taken a leading place among the merchants of that place, where he has gained the confidence and esteem of all who have any dealings with him.
Mr. Heath was born in David City, Butler county, Nebraska, August 21, 1880. He is a son of Elver L. Heath, editor of The Cody Cowboy, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. His mother was, prior to her marriage, Miss Ella C. Bailey, of Shenandoah, Iowa, and he was her third child, there being six in the family. When he was five years old his parents moved to Rushville, settling on a farm there, where he was brought up to do all kinds of hard farm work. He received a good education, and at seventeen began teaching school, which profession he followed for several years, for some time occupying the position of principal of the Cody school. He attended the state university at Lincoln for two years, and while there made his own way through school, as he had done since a mere lad. After leaving the schools in Cody, he began working in his father's printing office, and was on the newspaper staff of the Cody Cowboy up to April 1, 1906. Mr. Heath is a young man of superior intelligence and quick perception, always a brilliant student, and is well versed in land laws, practicing before the department of the interior in land cases. In April, 1906, he was appointed postmaster at Cody and is now acting in that capacity. He also has a grocery store which he conducts personally, and has built up a good trade. He intends to pursue the study of law later, and the prediction is that he will, in future, be one of the prominent public men of this section, as he is very ambitious and energetic, giving the best efforts of his nature to whatever he undertakes. Mr. Heath is a Republican politically, and takes an active part in local affairs.
On March 1, 1904, Mr. Heath was married to Miss Margaret Kaiser, daughter of Fred Kaiser, an old settler at Custer, South Dakota where she was reared. To Mr. and Mrs. Heath one child has been born, named Helen. Mr. Heath is a member of the Cody lodge of the Brotherhood of American Yeomen.
Peter K. Christensen, a leading old timer of Western Nebraska. has been an important factor in the development and growth of that part of the country since its early settlement. He came to this region in 1888, has accumulated competence by his industry and perseverance, now owning a fine farm and is regarded as one of the well-to-do men of Box Butte county, highly esteemed by everyone who knows him.
Mr. Christensen is a native of Denmark, born in 1866. His father was a miller by trade who spent his entire life in his native land and died there when our subject was a boy two and a half
years old. Peter grew up on the home farm and secured employment on other farms in the vicinity of his home when old enough and remained there up to 1887, when he, with his mother and the rest of the family, emigrated to America. They landed in Baltimore, and came west to the eastern part of North Dakota, where they spent one year, then moved to Washington county, Nebraska where they remained for one year. On coming here the mother first settled in Box Butte county, and the following year Peter left Washington county and secured work on a farm near his mother's place, remaining there up to 1889. He then settled on his present farm as a homestead, putting up a sod house twelve by twenty-two feet, doing all the work of building it alone. He had no team and was obliged to carry all the sod used for the house in his arms a distance of about twenty-five or thirty yards. Just as soon he had his farm nicely started the drouths began to strike his locality and he suffered the loss of several crops, losing some also through the hail storms which swept the section, and these failures put him back considerably. He purchased a team of two small black horses and a colt, for which he paid $190.00, and with these broke up land and tried hard to get along. In 1891 he decided to start in the cattle business, so purchased a few head, and from that small beginning kept on increasing his herd, and buying more land as he became able, until he now owns a ranch of nine hundred and sixty acres. He farms one hundred acres of this, and keeps the balance for hay and pasture for his stock. He has his ranch all fenced and improved with good buildings, a comfortable house and commodious barns, and has plenty of good water supplied from wells and pumped with windmills.
Mr. Christensen was married here in 1890 to Miss Mattie Christine Rasmussen, also a native of Denmark, and they are the parents of seven children, named as follows: Mattie, Hilga, and Elinora (twins), Esther (now deceased), Ina. Olga and Bryan, all born and reared on the home farm.
Mr. Christensen has always taken a commendable interest in public affairs of his locality and has held the office of road overseer for six years. He has also been a member of the school board and served as treasurer for three years. Politically he is an Independent voter.
August Boehmer, one of the pioneer settlers of Perkins county, and classed as one of the most substantial farmers and stockmen of that locality, is the owner of seven quarter sections of farm and ranch land in Perkins county, and here he has gained a good income and the respect and esteem of his fellowmen by his integrity and industry.
Mr. Boehmer was born in Saxony, Germany, in 1848, and was raised on a farm. His father was born in Germany, grew up there and served his allotted time in the German army, and was one of the soldiers in the campaign to Paris.
During his boyhood our subject followed farming, and in 1881 came to America. He settled at Plattsmouth, Nebraska, where he remained for one year, and after farming near that town for years, moved to Perkins county where he took a homestead on section 34, township 12, range 39. His first dwelling was a dugout, and in this he lived for quite a while, trying hard to improve his farm in the face of many difficulties and discouragements. He was compelled to haul water thirteen miles for use in the household, and kept this up for two years. When the dry years came on he had several crop failures, and found it hard to make a living and do much toward improving his property but as the better times struck the locality he managed to get ahead, added to his acreage and gradually put up substantial buildings. He has a fine house, commodious barns and sheds, wells, windmills, fences, etc., and also has fine groves of trees which he planted in the early years. About three hundred and twenty acres of his farm is under cultivation, and he raises good crops of grain, etc. All of his present property has been accumulated through thrift and good management, as he came here with but little, and after filing on his homestead and getting started was over two hundred dollars in debt. Mr. Boehmer was married while still living in Germany, to Miss Amelia Opets, and together they have shared the joys and hardships of a pioneer life. They have an interesting family of five children, who are named as follows: August, Paulina, Alvine, Lizzie and Martha.
Prominent among railway men in the western states is the gentleman whose name heads this review. Mr. Hastings is passenger conductor on the Union Pacific railway, residing at North Platte, Nebraska, and is also chief of the Order of Railway Conductors for North Platte Division of No. 32, coming to the Union Pacific company in 1887.
Mr. Hastings is a native of Bureau county, Illinois, and was raised there. He is a son of L. W. Hastings, editor of the Aurora Republican
for twenty-one years, from 1872 to 1893, himself a strong Republican active in political circles in his section of the country. He is a strong advocate of the opportunities to be found in the west, and in his paper he at all times aims to help develop and people the states throughout the west. He served in the Civil war for four years and four months, and was master mate and afterwards ensign in the navy. He was on the Commonwealth when it was sunk, and took part in different naval engagements. His family was the sixth family to settle in Hamilton county, Nebraska, coming there in 1869. Our subject is his father's only child, and his mother was Miss Minerva Mathews, daughter of John Mathews,
Mr. Hastings began his railway work in 1881, at Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1887 he came to North Platte as conductor on the Union Pacific, and has been in that position ever since, and at different times has filled all the offices in the Order of Railway Conductors in the local lodge. He has been very successful in his work, and during his long career as a trainman has never had an accident or a man hurt. He is regarded as one of the most expert in his work and is often selected for special runs of the fast trains on account of his nerve and cool head.
Mr. Hastings was married in 1896, to Miss Eva Singleton, daughter of John Singleton, foreman of the Union Pacific machine shops at North Platte, whose sketch appears in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Hastings have a family of three children, namely: John Loren, Lewis Rover and Minerva.
On January 1, 1906, our subject was appointed one of the board of examiners for the promotion of firemen and brakemen for the whole Union Pacific road system. This takes eight months of his time each year, as the board begins its inspection at Omaha and goes over the whole line. The other member is S. S. Morris, chief dispatcher at Cheyenne.
The gentleman whose name heads this review is one of the old timers of western Nebraska, who has done his full part in assisting in the development of the region where he chose his home. Mr. Rucker resides on a valuable estate in Dawes county, where he has built up a good home and farm by dint of his industry and good management, and is counted among the prosperous citizens and successful farmers of his locality, well known throughout the county as a public-spirited citizen.
Mr. Rucker is a native of Monroe county, Ohio, born in 1841 on a farm. His father, Lemuel B. Rucker, originally came from Green Briar county, Virginia, settling in southeastern Ohio as a pioneer. He married Miss Lucy Blake born in Maine, who came with her parent to Ohio when she was a girl of twelve years, and grew to womanhood there. Our subject was reared and educated in Ohio, and when he was about twenty years of age enlisted in Company D, Forty-second Ohio Infantry, and saw hard service in the middle and western states. He was all through Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee, and in the rear at Vicksburg with General Sherman, and later participated in the battle of Vicksburg. He served for one year as a nurse in the army, and was mustered out in 1864 at Camp Chase, Ohio, near Columbus. After leaving the army he went back home and spent a year, then to Illinois and soon moved to Gentry county, Missouri, where he remained for twelve years, following farming there, and owning a farm of one hundred acres. He moved to Colfax county, Nebraska, in 1884, where he purchased a farm and lived for three years. Next he came to Dawes county and filed on a homestead in section 33, township 33, range 47, which was then all wild prairie land, and he started at once to improve the place and build up a farm. His first building was a dug-out and sod shanty, and he lived in it for several years, starting out on a very small scale, having brought with him three horses, three cows and a few hogs, which was his start in the stock business, in which he has been more or less engaged since coming here. The first years were rather hard ones for him, going through the drouths, each year putting out large crops but getting hardly any returns. He often became discouraged, but stuck to the place, and finally succeeded in improving it in good shape, adding to his acreage constantly until he now owns a ranch of seven hundred acres, beautifully located on Little Bordeaux Creek where he has plenty of hay and pasture land, and about one hundred and fifty acres under cultivation, on which he raises splendid crops. He runs quite a large number of horses and cattle. The ranch is well supplied with natural timber, wild fruits, living water, and everything that goes to make up a model farm and ranch.
Mr. Rucker was married in 1867, near Pontiac, Illinois, to Miss Nancy A. Rucker his firs wife. His second wife was Mrs. Cannady, daughter of John Creighton, born in Illinois, and moved to Missouri. Her father was a prominent politician in his section of the country and held numerous county offices in Harrison county, Missouri, and he was also a veteran of the Civil war. He died in 1873, at Denver, Missouri. Mrs.
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